Kū Like and Live Aloha: IRONMAN Introduces Event Theme and Initiative Aimed at A Mindful Return of Vinfast IRONMAN World Championship to Kailua-Kona, Hawai`I

September 26, 2022

In harmony with Hawai`i Tourism Authority’s Destination Management Action Plan for responsible tourism, IRONMAN implements Live Aloha initiative, encouraging all those attending, visiting, and participating to respect and celebrate Hawaiian culture, lands, and people; 2022 event theme Kū Like reminds IRONMAN community we are stronger when we stand together

KAILUA-KONA, Hawai`i / TAMPA, Fla. (September 26, 2022) /ENDURANCE SPORTSWIRE/ – In the return to Hawai`i Island for the 2022 VinFast IRONMAN® World Championship race after a three-year hiatus, IRONMAN announced the Live Aloha initiative to build upon and emphasize the Hawai`i Tourism Authority’s push for responsible tourism. For the first time in the event’s history, the VinFast IRONMAN World Championship race will take place over two days, on October 6 and 8, in Kailua-Kona, Hawai`i. Live Aloha aims to help all remember the importance of the community, culture, and land that have made this event so special for more than 40 years.

Through Live Aloha and in the spirit of this year’s event theme of Kū Like (stand together), IRONMAN is encouraging all those attending, visiting, and participating in the 2022 VinFast IRONMAN World Championship event to act mindfully and take part in learning about and respecting Hawaiian culture, lands, and people throughout their visit to the Island.

Live Aloha also encourages all people to be pono (righteous) on Hawai`i Island by taking the Pono Pledge. As described by Larry Lindsey Kauanoe Kimura, Grandfather of Hawaiian Language Revitalization, “Pono extends beyond its many English translations. To live pono is to be in perfect harmony with all things and to be aligned with your custodial relationship with the planet and its inhabitants.” Nearly 20,000 people to date have signed the Pono Pledge, which vows to a mindful visitation, community enrichment, and more. To make the Pono Pledge, visit www.ponopledge.com/take-the-island-of-hawaii-pono-pledge/.

“Live Aloha calls on not only our athletes but our entire IRONMAN `Ohana to return to Hawai`i Island in a way that celebrates our shared history, taking collective ownership and responsibility for honoring and respecting the Hawaiian culture, lands, and people that make this amazing event possible,” said Diana Bertsch, Senior Vice President of World Championship Events for The IRONMAN Group. “We know there is great anticipation after three years without a World Championship Event on Hawai`i Island and excitement can sometimes be blinding to other important areas. We have been mindful about the return of the event, understanding that to Live Aloha we must Kū Like as it is the communal responsibility of our athletes, team members, partners, supporters, volunteers, media members, and visitors to play an active role in taking care of this place that so many love and call home, including a core group of our IRONMAN World Championship Team.”

Created in accordance with Hawai`i Tourism Authority’s Destination Management Action Plan for responsible tourism, Live Aloha is IRONMAN’s permanent reminder that the IRONMAN World Championship and the land, culture, and host communities of Hawaiʻi are intertwined in creating the rich history of one of the most iconic and important sporting events in the world. As such, all those coming to the Island are responsible for adding to that history in a positive way by treating the land and community as if it were their own home.

“On behalf of the County of Hawaiʻi, we extend our warmest welcome to the IRONMAN athletes and their ʻohana as we invite them back to our shores for the famous VinFast IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua-Kona,” said Hawai`i County Mayor, Mitch Roth. “Over the past few years, our community has come together to enhance our recognition of our collective responsibility to each other and our ‘āina — which we believe will provide you all with an enriched experience of our island that is rooted in our local values and shared through our abundance of aloha. With that aloha, we look forward to your return, as we once again stand shoulder-to-shoulder to cheer on the best athletes in the world from the best place in the world.”

“Live Aloha seems like such a natural fitting motto for the race and the days around it,” said three-time IRONMAN World Champion, Jan Frodeno. “Being well aware of nature, conditions, and the surroundings has always been a part of my personal journey on the island. When you display care for the land, the people and the culture, you get so much back in return. The last years have shown that we can’t take this most amazing race and its shared history with Hawai`i for granted so make sure you create memories to look back fondly upon. Even though I’ll be cheering from the sidelines this year, I’m looking forward to coming back to see friends and my sporting family as well as appreciating this most special battleground of our sport. My number one tip would be to keep cool before the race both physically and mentally. Everyone is there for a positive world championship experience and come race day, you’ll need all the fire and support you can find.”

Participatory projects and educational sessions will also be available to engage with and learn more about the local community and culture. Expanding on the annual tradition of hosting service projects throughout race week, IRONMAN will work with Island Breeze, Queen Lili`uokalani Trust, and other local organizations to host a cultural educational program. This will include FREE cultural tours and activities as well as environmental education on things we can do to protect the local land and waters, such as wearing mineral sunscreen. IRONMAN will also be hosting service projects in which everyone – athletes, team members, supporters, volunteers, and media – are invited to give back with the rest of their IRONMAN `Ohana. For more information on participating in the cultural activities, tours, and service projects, please visit www.ironman.com/kona-community-live-aloha.

“We know how important this race is to athletes and their supporters and that, from the minute they step on the Island, their focus is set on race day,” said Bertsch. “Live Aloha is our way of educating and encouraging athletes and visitors to be mindful of the simple yet extremely important things they can do to respect the Island and people that make this incredible event possible. Everyone can Live Aloha by obeying road rules when cycling, wearing mineral sunscreen, and avoiding stepping through gardens and nature, just to name a few. Responsible tourism starts and extends long before and after race day and if we all do our part, can make for a truly life-changing experience for all.”

Tips to Live Aloha while visiting Hawai`i:

  • Aloha spirit: Embrace the lessons of peace, kindness, compassion, and responsibility that come with being in the presence of and sharing the essence of life.
    • Take time to greet locals who are sharing their home with us.
    • Be mindful and courteous on the road during practice runs and rides.
    • Obey all traffic and cycling laws.
  • Love of the land: Mālama (care for) land and sea.
  • Observe, learn, and understand: This island is one of rich history. Take pause to learn of the peoples who have inhabited Hawai`i for centuries.
    • IRONMAN Service Project at Queen Lili`uokalani Trust – Register here.
    • Ahuʻena Heiau Historial & Cultural Education Walking Tour – Register here.
    • Tour Hawai`i Island’s historical sites.
    • Learn about the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawai`i Authority (NELHA) and make note of the numerous sites along the race course.
    • Admire the work of local artists and artisans at galleries like Donkey Mill Art Center.
    • Book yourself seats at a lū`au for an immersive experience of local cuisine and Polynesian performances.
    • Support the local business community and take a moment to soak in each place you visit.
  • Honor the culture: Immerse yourself in local and Native Hawaiian customs that make up the island’s unique culture.
    • Take a deep breath and relax. The pace of life is slower on the Island; don’t waste time trying to force things.
    • Aloha is a lifestyle, a reciprocal value centered on kindness and respect. You give it without expectation of something in return.
    • Don’t be afraid to ask questions and learn from locals and Native Hawaiians.
  • Admire and respect the beauty: Mindfully seek wonder, but not wander where one does not belong.
    • While the Island of Hawai`i is filled with opportunities for adventure, be aware of and comply with all county ordinances and state laws.
    • The landscape of Hawai`i is remarkable. Do not remove any plants, sand, or rocks from their original habitat.
    • Do not approach or touch wildlife.

For more information about Live Aloha, cultural activities and the Pono Pledge, please visit www.ironman.com/kona-community. For more information about the 2022 VinFast IRONMAN World Championship event, please visit www.ironman.com/im-world-championship.

To learn more about the IRONMAN and IRONMAN 70.3 brands and series of events, please visit www.ironman.com. Media inquiries may be directed to press@ironman.com.


About the IRONMAN World Championship

Since its inception in 1978 on the Island of O`ahu, the IRONMAN World Championship has etched its name in history through stellar performances, inspirational participants and emotional memories. In 1981, the race moved from the tranquil shores of Waikīkī to the barren lava fields of Kona on the Island of Hawai`i where it continues to take place to this day. The race now sees over 2,500 athletes embark on a 140.6-mile journey that presents the ultimate test of body, mind, and spirit to earn the title of IRONMAN World Champion. The most iconic one-day sporting event in the world is the culmination of 40 global IRONMAN events with over 94,000 athletes around the world striving for one of the coveted qualifying slots. The 2021 edition of the event took place in St. George, Utah in May 2022, becoming the first location to host the event outside of Hawai`i since its origins in 1978. After a two-year hiatus from Hawai`i due to COVID, the race returns to Kona and takes place for the first time as a two-day event in October for the 2022 edition of the VinFast IRONMAN World Championship. The 2023 VinFast IRONMAN World Championship will see the event continue with the two-day format but with a dedicated race day for women and dedicated race day for men. For more information, visit www.ironman.com/im-world-championship.

About The IRONMAN Group

The IRONMAN Group operates a global portfolio of events that includes the IRONMAN® Triathlon Series, the IRONMAN® 70.3® Triathlon Series, the IRONMAN® Virtual Racing™ (VR™) Series, 5150™ Triathlon Series, the Rock ‘n’ Roll® Running Series, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Virtual Running™ Series, IRONKIDS®, World Triathlon Championship Series, premier running events including the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon™ and City2Surf®, UTMB® World Series events including Tarawera Ultra and Ultra-Trail Australia™, Epic Series™ mountain bike races including the Absa Cape Epic®, road cycling events including Haute Route®, and other multisport races. The IRONMAN Group is the largest operator of mass participation sports in the world and provides more than a million participants annually the benefits of endurance sports through the company’s vast offerings. Catering to the full athlete experience, the company portfolio also includes FulGaz® virtual cycling, the most realistic indoor riding experience connected fitness application aimed at preparing athletes for real-world events. Since the inception of the iconic IRONMAN® brand and its first event in 1978, athletes have proven that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE® by crossing finish lines around the world. Beginning as a single race, The IRONMAN Group has grown to become a global sensation with hundreds of events across 55+ countries. The IRONMAN Group is owned by Advance, a private, family-owned business. For more information, visit www.ironman.com/about-ironman-group.

About Advance 

Advance is a private, family-held business that owns and invests in companies across media, entertainment, technology, communications, education and other promising growth sectors. Our mission is to build the value of our companies over the long-term by fostering growth and innovation. Advance’s portfolio includes Condé Nast, Advance Local, Stage Entertainment, The IRONMAN Group, American City Business Journals, Leaders Group, Turnitin, 1010data and Pop. Together these operating companies employ more than 17,000 people in 29 countries. Advance is also among the largest shareholders in Charter Communications, Warner Bros. Discovery and Reddit. For more information visit www.advance.com.